ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Problems of Restructuring Soviet Society

Problems of Restructuring Soviet Society THE interest among US policy makers and academics in Soviet affairs has increased tremendously in the recent years and more so with the coming of Mikhail Gorbachev to power. An evidence to this is that the US Department of State organised a conference on Soviet Society in the autumn of 1986 to assess the state of the Soviet Union at the end of the second year of Gorbachev administration and to gauge the prospects of alternative policies and developments. The book under review is a collection of papers presented at this conference by US specialists and by a few emigres from the USSR.

Soviet Debate on Irrationality of Pricing System

Several irrationalities of the Soviet price system have come to the surface and are being intensely debated by Soviet academics and policy-makers. The views and concepts of the orthodox school of Marxian political economists may not be equal to the task of reform of the system as the Soviet economy is being geared to thorough restructuring domestically and to increasing its competitiveness and participation in the world economic system.

Soviet Bloc Initiative for a NIEO

R G Gidadhubli The organisation of the member states of the Warsaw Treaty has, on the eve of UNCTAD-VII, published proposals for a New International Economic Order to cope with the problems facing the developing countries. The proposals reflect the evolving Soviet perception of an interdependent world' instead of a 'world clearly divided into two systems'.

New Impetus to Indo-Soviet Economic Ties Gorbachev s Delhi Visit

New Impetus to Indo-Soviet Economic Ties Gorbachev's Delhi Visit R G Gidadhubli WHAT is the outcome of the visit of Mikhail Gorbachev, general secretary of Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) with regard to Indo-Soviet economic cooperation and trade? What will be the economic gains for India? Will it make any qualitative difference to the economic relationship between the two countries? These and many related questions will be taken up by analysts to examine the likely impact and consequences of Gorbachev's visit to India's economic relations in the years to come.

SOVIET UNION-Gorbachev s Diagnoses and Prescriptions

SOVIET UNION Gorbachev's Diagnoses and Prescriptions R G Gidadhubli THE political report of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) delivered by the General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to the 27th Party Congress on February 25, 1986 is a landmark in the history of the CPSU though albeit, slightly less significant than the 20th Party Congress held precisely 30 years earlier. Gorbachev has made a critical assessment of Brezhnev's role for the present 'not-so-healthy' state of Soviet economy and society. He has also made a series of radical proposals for solving the problems facing the country which may affect the existing economic model. In order to explain his position, Gorbachev has devoted a section to discuss economic issues of the USSR which deserves careful analysis.

GENEVA SUMMIT-US Climb-Down on Bilateral Economic Relations

January 18, 1986 GENEVA SUMMIT US Climb-Down on Bilateral Economic Relations R G Gidadhubli THOUGH the Reagan-Gorbachov summit in Geneva has apparently not produced positive results on substantive issues such as the arms race, the star wars programme, etc, one area in which there are prospects of improvement in relations between the two countries is that of bilateral trade. Reagan may have reason to be happy that he succeeded, among other things, in persuading Gorbachov to buy more grain from the US, since the Soviets had hardly contracted for grain imports from the US market since mid-1985. In fact, as per the report of the US Department of Agriculture on 4USSR Grain Situation and Outlook' for October 1985, the Soviet Union had imported only 8,000 tonnes of grain from the US during July-August 1985 in contrast to 1.5 million tonnes in the corresponding months in 1984. The apprehensions of US policy-makers that the Soviet Union might not buy much grain from the US were possibly confirmed by the fact that the mission of John Block, the US Secretary of Agriculture, to Moscow in September 1985 did not yield any positive response from the Soviet side.

INDO-SOVIET RELATIONS- Economic Diplomacy of the Billion Rouble Credit

when the MFC team visited Bhopal to conduct their survey, eye disorders seemed widespread. The plight of women, especially pregnant women, is pathetic. As early as February it was known that a good proportion of the women were suffering from a variety of gynaecological problems. Several voluntary groups, health groups and women's groups suggested the setting up of regular basti-based clinics for womeiv But that has been ignored. The KEM-VHAI study has found that 100 out of 198 women surveyed were suffering from gynaecological problems. Such problems are an indication that the gas has indeed affected the reproductive system. This should have been a major concern in research and relief and treatment. But none of the ICMR's projects consider this aspect to be of any importance. Ever since the disaster there have been sporadic reports of increased' rates of abortion and still-births among the affected population. A survey conducted by two MFC doctors, Rani Bang and Mira Shiva, had also recorded cases of foetal distress (a decrease in foetal movement). Apparently the doctors at the Zenana Sultania Hospital where a special antenatal clinic for gas-hit victims has been set up are turning away women with false assurances of 'all's well'.

Soviet Policy towards Asia

strength, influence and funds for themselves. This is compounded by an increasing tendency among workers themselves to lean on political influence of parties and leaders rather than on their own organisational strength. This aspect, again, does not appear to be sufficiently emphasised in the book. The blame for the sorry state of industrial relations in the country cannot be laid solely, on the role of the state. There are instances, though not numerous, where neither compulsory adjudication nor interference by the political executive has been able to do much harm because the workers and employers themselves show the maturity to resolve their disputes themselves, sometimes even with some actual conflict taken in their stride in that process, rather than permit intervention of outside forces into their mutual relations.

SOVIET UNION-Problem of Grain Production-Search for a Durable Solution

March 2, 1985 SOVIET UNION Problem of Grain Production Search for a Durable Solution R G Gidadhubli THE USSR has had a very bad foodgrain harvest in 1984. Although Soviet planners have stopped giving out official figures about foodgrain output since 1982, US specialists on Soviet affairs have estimated the 1984 Soviet foodgrain crop at about 170 million tons against the plan target of 240 million tons. The 1984 output is about 20 million tons below the estimated output of 1983. While this may certainly delight the American grain lobby with the promise of a possible bonanza, the Soviet leaders have reason to be worried about the persistent vulnerability of the country's grain economy to external forces. The Soviet leaders admit that though the situation with regard to meat output is not as bad as with foodgrain production in 1984, meat production estimated at about 17 million tons will not meet the demand of Soviet citizens. Moreover, the shortfall in foodgrain production in 1984 may adversely affect meat output in 1985 unless sufficient grains and feedstock are imported. Thus excepting cotton (nine million tons) and milk and eggs, the agricultural scene with regard to other items is quite disappointing at a time when the XI Five- Year Plan enters its last year.

SOVIET UNION- Reform of School Education

Reform of School Education R G Gidadhubli ON April 12, 1984 the Supreme Soviet of the USSR under the Presidentship of K U Cher- nenko approved an important document concerning school education in the country after the final form of school reform was accepted by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CC of CPSU) two days earlier. The approved "Guidelines for Reform of General and Vocational Schools" was published in pravda on April, 14. The leaders of the Party and the government attach great significance to the type of education that children who are just starting school will receive since they are supposed to inherit and carry forward the legacy and objectives of the Great October Socialist Revolution at the turn of this century and at the beginning of the 21st century. Although a decision was taken in April to bring about school reform, the initiative for bringing about changes in the Soviet school system was originally taken by the late Yuri Andropov in June 1983 under whose leadership of the party and the government a draft proposal for school reform containing 40 articles grouped into 8 sections was prepared and published in Pravda on January 4, 1984 for public discussion.

SOVIET UNION- Andropov s Last Testament

The Centre's concern in this public interest litigation was understandable. More than 1.800 human lives had been lost The damage to property was estimated at a hundred crore of rupees. Solanki, the leader of the opposition, expressed the widely held view that it was a man-made tragedy.

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